However, people from Hyderabad and Delhi who have managed to return told TOI that at least 500 Indians are believed to be trapped there. Every day, at least 10-20 Indians are brought to Myawaddy and Mae Sot.
“Until now, OKX Plus (Dubai-based), Lazada, Super Energy group and Zhentian group have been identified as the companies offering these jobs,” a statement from the Office of the Protector of Emigrants (PoE-Hyderabad) said, confirming that the Indian IT professionals trapped into taking up these jobs were made to pose as Chinese women online and defraud high net worth individuals from the US and Europe in the name of crypto currency investment.
Several IT companies operate from Myawaddy, not far away from the IT SEZ area at Mae Sot, the main hub of the “slave labour” racket. Myawaddy, along the Thailand-Myanmar border, is said to be largely controlled by Chinese nationals.
“If we are to come out alive, the government of India should act immediately,” an IT professional from Mumbai trapped there said.
The PoE office said that these job seekers “travel using the visa-on-arrival facility to Bangkok and are quickly transferred to Myanmar. Hence, tracking their arrival and onward movement is not possible until the mission is contacted by the victims or their relatives.”
The first such case was reported in July 2022. “Since then, the MEA, through its missions in Thailand and Myanmar, has been taking necessary action to rescue such Indian nationals… Our embassies at Yangon and Bangkok have issued advisories and have been regularly taking up the matter with the local authorities,” the PoE said. In many instances, individuals had taken up these jobs despite being warned about the consequences, it added. “It has also been noted that some Indians are voluntarily involved in scamming jobs and received good remuneration/incentive to lure other Indian nationals,” it said.